March 3

12 Fun Warm Up Games For Group Fitness And Bootcamps


If you're running out of fun warm up games, then this post is for you.  

Starting your class with a couple of fun warm up games is the easiest way to create fun team atmosphere and get the energy flowing.  

When I take a group fitness class, I start with the same pre-warm up (light cardio, mobility exercises, dynamic stretches), then transition into a warm-up game which includes exercises that mimic the main part of my class. 

I have included 7 fun warm-up games (in a simple template format), so you can improve your classes and keep your clients even happier. 

If you want the full collection of fun warm-up games, check out...

The Big Book Of Fun Group Warm-Ups

fun warm-up games

The big book of fun group warm-ups is the perfect addition to your group fitness programme. 

You'll discover 50 tried and tested warm-up drills, games and challenges that will add more fun, energy and excitement to your classes. 

These creative ideas are best used after a pre-warm-up of light cardio, mobility and dynamic stretches. 

Here are some fun warm-up games from the manual. Notice how they're templated based, so you can add your favourite exercises and create different variations of each warm-up.  

#1:Combat Tag

Method: Show the group a warm-up exercise to complete for 30-45 seconds then ask players to find a partner and player rocks, paper, scissors. The winner tags marker one, and the loser completes 5-push-ups.

The objective of the game is to tag all 10 markers in ascending order (1-10). The first player to do this wins and the game is over. Repeat the round until you have a winner.

Note: After each round change the exercise. You can turn drill this into a tougher (post warm-up) challenge by increasing the time to 1-minute per exercise and using harder exercises.

Time: 8-minutes

#2: Snail Race

Method: Split the group into small teams then show the group four exercises. I.e., squats, sit-ups, push-ups and jumping jacks. You’ll also need two markers per team positioned as shown.

Round 1: Players complete 10 reps of each exercise. When finished they place one team marker in front of the other advancing the snail forward.

Players have 8-minutes to complete as many rounds as they can. The team that advances the snail the furthest wins.

Note: Each player is working individual but as part of a team.

Odd numbers: If you have a team with an extra player. Two players on that team who are equal in fitness can work as one unit. Otherwise, they’ll be at an advantage when moving the snail forwards.

Time 10-minutes

Group fitness classes ideas and fun warm up games

#3: Odds And Evens

Method: Give each player a number (starting and 1 and working up), then as players to jog clockwise around the circuit.

Round 1: Call the even numbered players to the centre of the square and show them an exercise to complete for 1-minute. When finished, set them off running then call the odds numbered players into the middle to complete the same exercise for 1-minute.

Complete five rounds in total with no rest.

Note: You can use this drill as a fun warm-up by choosing warm-up exercises, or you can create a tougher challenge by using harder exercises.

Time 10-minutes

Fun warm-up games for personal trainers

Fun Warm-up Games In Partners

The drill I'm about to share with you is in two parts. Part one is a fun team warm-up that prepares the body for the main event.

#4: Quest For Zero

Part one: Indian Run 

An Indian run, also known as a Cherokee run or an Indian file run, is a form of group running activity that involves participants running in a line formation. The concept of an Indian run is to create a dynamic and challenging workout that promotes teamwork, endurance, and camaraderie among group members.

Here's how an Indian run typically works:

  1. Formation: The group of runners lines up single-file behind one another, with each person maintaining a consistent distance between themselves and the runner in front.
  2. During the run, the runner at the back of the line puts in extra effort to sprint to the front, overtaking the other runners in the process. Once they reach the front, they become the new leader and set the pace for the group. The previous leader then joins the line and becomes a regular runner until it's their turn to take the lead again.
Group fitness games

This continuous rotation of the leader position adds an element of challenge, as it requires runners to periodically increase their speed and make quick transitions between running at a regular pace and sprinting.

The Indian run offers several benefits. It promotes teamwork and communication, as runners need to synchronise their movements to maintain the line formation. It also encourages friendly competition and motivation among participants, as each person strives to overtake others and take the lead.

Furthermore, the Indian run provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, as the variation in speed and the constant change in leader position elevate the intensity of the run. It helps build endurance, speed, and agility while creating a sense of unity and shared accomplishment within the group.

Note: In a group of mix ability participants, have the group brisk walk instead of run. The only player that runs is the player at the back to reach the front. It's much more manageable for your less fit clients. 

Part 2: Main challenge 

Begin by dividing the group into teams of two and marking out a 20-meter distance for shuttle sprints.

Each team has 5-minutes to complete 70 shuttles between them counting back from 70 (out and back is counted as one shuttle). Teams that fail to reach zero shuttles compete a forfeit. 

Partner work offers several advantages. Firstly, it fosters a sense of camaraderie and teamwork, as participants support and encourage each other throughout the challenge. Working with a partner provides motivation and accountability, making the workout more enjoyable and potentially increasing performance levels.

Additionally, sprinting itself brings numerous benefits to physical fitness. It is a high-intensity exercise that engages multiple muscle groups and significantly elevates heart rate. Sprinting improves cardiovascular fitness, increases speed and agility, and enhances lower body strength and power. It is also an excellent way to burn calories and improve overall endurance.

The challenge of reaching 60 shuttle sprints within a limited time frame adds an element of intensity and urgency to the workout. This helps to improve participants' speed and stamina while pushing them to their limits.

Overall, the combination of partner work and shuttle sprints offers a dynamic and engaging workout experience. It promotes teamwork, enhances motivation, and provides an effective way to improve cardiovascular fitness, speed, and lower body strength.

Coin Flip Warm-Up Games

#5: Flipping Hell

Players complete 100 push-ups in sets of ten. After each set they flip a coin and complete 5 Burpees only if they flip a tail. The first player to finish wins and the game is over.  

You can play one game as a finisher, or more for a longer challenge. If you decide to play multiple games, change the exercise after each game.

Using training aids such as coins, playing cards and dice to create fun warm-up games and challenges has many benefits.

  • Promote camaraderie and teamwork among participants.
  • Enhance motivation and create a sense of friendly competition.
  • Provide variety and excitement to workouts.
  • Foster social interaction and a sense of community.
  • Increase engagement and adherence to exercise routines.
  • Improve overall fitness and endurance through challenging gameplay.

3 Fun Bootcamp Ideas Post Warm-up Games

After you have successfully deployed a couple of fun warm-up games, you're ready to bring out the big guns (the more intense challenges). 

The idea is to carry on where you left off, with another fun activity. 

Here are a few fun drills taken from the Workout Design Club, a workout builder that makes it quick and easy for group fitness trainers to plan more enjoyable workout.

#1: Beat The Clock

Beat the Clock is a versatile and engaging bootcamp drill that can be customised based on the specific objectives of your session. Whether you're focusing on strength training or using equipment like kettlebells to target the lower body, this game can be adapted accordingly.

Here's how to play:

  1. Start by creating a workout then complete it for time. In your next class, have your clients complete the same workout and aks them to beat your time.
  2. Forfeits: For every minute a player goes over, they complete 2 Burpees at the end of the class. So if a player goes over your time by 6 minutes, they owe you 12 Burpees. 
  3. Motivation: Because every minute counts, it encourages everyone to work harder and strive to beat the clock.

By incorporating the "Beat the Clock" game into your group fitness programme, you can infuse a competitive spirit and drive among your clients. It not only energises the atmosphere but also helps participants push themselves to achieve their best within a set timeframe.

#2: You've Been AMRAP'ed

AMRAPS (As Many Rounds As Possible) are highly versatile and can be utilised in various ways, whether as fun warm-up games by using warm-up exercises or s a component of a more intense workout.

Here's an interesting twist to maximise the benefits of AMRAP:

Method: Participants engage in a 10-minute AMRAP, aiming to complete as many rounds as possible within the given time frame. After the initial round, participants exchange their scores and repeat the AMRAP. The objective is to surpass your partner's score and strive for continuous improvement.

By incorporating this twist, the competitive element is introduced, pushing participants to outperform their previous rounds and challenging themselves to surpass their partner's performance. This not only adds excitement and motivation but also encourages participants to give their best effort during each AMRAP session.

Whether used as a fun warm-up game or as part of a larger workout, this modified AMRAP format fosters a sense of friendly competition and personal progress. It can serve as a powerful tool to keep participants engaged, inspired, and continuously striving to achieve their best results.

bootcamp ideas and fun group fitness warm up ideas

#3: Build Your Own Tabata 

Introducing "Build Your Own Tabata" - a customisable workout that allows players to actively participate and select their preferred exercises. 

This workout incorporates a variety of exercises categorised into three groups: lower body, core, and cardio. By giving players the freedom to choose their exercises, it enhances their sense of involvement and motivation throughout the workout.

To start, create a list of 12 exercises on a whiteboard, consisting of 3 lower body exercises, 3 core exercises, and 3 cardio-based exercises. Each player participating in the workout will have the opportunity to select one exercise from each category, ensuring a well-rounded routine.

The workout follows the Tabata protocol, which involves completing each exercise for a total of 4 minutes. To achieve this, set your interval timer for 32 rounds, with each round lasting 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. This structure allows for 8 rounds per exercise, giving participants a focused and intense workout experience.

The benefits of this approach are twofold. Firstly, Tabata training is known for its efficiency in improving cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, and calorie burning. By adhering to the specific work-rest intervals, participants can push themselves to their limits during each exercise, maximizing their results in a short amount of time.

Secondly, by allowing players to choose their own exercises, it creates a sense of ownership and personalization in the workout. This aspect promotes engagement and enjoyment, as individuals are more likely to be motivated and committed when they have a say in the activities they perform. This sense of involvement increases the likelihood of adherence to the workout routine, leading to long-term fitness success.

In summary, "Build Your Own Tabata" offers a dynamic and engaging workout that be be used straight after a fun warm-up, or later on in your class.  

By combining the benefits of the Tabata protocol with the freedom of exercise selection, participants can achieve efficient and effective workouts while maintaining a sense of personalisation and enjoyment.

Want 50 More Fun Warm-up Games?

Conclusion: Incorporating fun warm-up games into group fitness classes brings a whole new level of enjoyment and engagement to workouts. These games not only enhance camaraderie and teamwork among participants but also add a sense of excitement and friendly competition. 

By incorporating variety and interactive elements, trainers can create a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere that motivates individuals to stay committed to their fitness goals.

If you're a group fitness trainer looking for a comprehensive resource to spice up your warm-up routines, I invite you to check out my new book, "The Big Book of Fun Group Warm-Ups." Packed with a wide range of creative and effective warm-up games.

fun warm-up games

This incredible resource is designed to help you make your group fitness classes more entertaining and energising. Discover new ideas, strategies, and approaches that will elevate the experience for both you and your participants.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to revolutionise your group warm-ups and create an unforgettable fitness journey for your clients. Visit "The Big Book of Fun Group Warm-Ups" today and take your group fitness sessions to the next level. Let the fun and fitness begin!

To your success

Leon Melnicenko 


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